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'Woman Thou Art Loosed' off to strong box-office start

April 16, 2012 | 11:54 am

"Woman Thou Art Loosed"
Codeblack Entertainment predicted last week that its “Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day” would open to strong returns in a limited national release. But the African American drama starring Blair Underwood, Sharon Leal and Nicole Beharie performed even better than its makers expected.

Playing in 102 theaters, “Woman Thou Art Loosed” grossed an estimated $650,319, or $6,376 per screen. That’s more than first-place “The Hunger Games” generated per screen in its fourth weekend in wide release in 3,916 locations and better than any other film tracked last weekend by hollywood.com.

The film was booked exclusively into AMC theaters under the exhibitor’s AMCi initiative for independent film. Because AMC theaters are not in optimum locations for African American moviegoers in Los Angeles, the bulk of the “Woman Thou Art Loosed” came from other big cities.

“If you provide the right films in the right markets at the right times, the films will perform,” said Jeff Clanagan, Codeblack’s chief executive officer. The Universal City-based company financed the film's production and distribution.

At the AMC Southlake 24 in Morrow, Ga., “Woman Thou Art Loosed” grossed about $12,000 per screen, about the same steady business it generated at the AMC Loews Country Club Hills 16, in Country Club Hills, Ill. Two of the film’s highest-grossing theaters were the AMC The Parks at Arlington 18 in Arlington, Texas, and the AMC Hoffman Center 22 in Alexandria, Va., where the film grossed about $18,000 at each theater over the weekend.

Clanagan said the $1.5-million film, supported with a thrifty $750,000 advertising budget focused on social media promotions, will not expand this weekend since it faces strong competition for African American moviegoers from Screen Gems’ new comedy “Think Like a Man,” which stars Chris Brown and Kevin Hart.

But "Woman Thou Art Loosed," whose audience was estimated to be about 75% female, is set to expand its release the weekend of April 27-29. Clanagan expects that “Woman Thou Art Loosed,” whose producers include Texas minister T.D. Jakes, ultimately could gross as much as $3 million, Clanagan said.


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-- John Horn

Photo: Scene from "Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day." Credit: Codeblack Entertainment.

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